Review: Pixar Deluxe Mr. Incredible and Syndrome

Before the golden age of the MCU started up in 2008, superhero movies were a very mixed bag. The X-Men and Spider-Man films had their ups and downs but maintained primary popularity, while views of Batman and Superman were largely fixed on their early 60’s and 70’s portrayals, respectively, with the former’s film franchise ravaged by disappointments. The best superhero film to come out in the 00’s was neither Marvel nor DC, it was the Disney-Pixar masterpiece called The Incredibles. Smart, funny, epic, and tackling the “realistic” approach to superheroes with enough soul and love for the genre to make it fun, The Incredibles is still one of Pixar’s best, and one of my favorite movies of all time. So, when I stumbled upon what appeared to be a collector-oriented line of Pixar toys on the shelf of my Toys R Us, I jumped at the chance to get quality figures of Mr. Incredible and his nemesis Syndrome. Do Thinkway’s Pixar Collection figures stand up to other $20 toylines like Star Wars Black Series or NECA figures? Let’s find out!

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Appearance

One thing Thinkways nailed in the design of these toys is getting them to look like the characters’ CGI models. The sculpt and proportions are more less spot-on and faithfully represent the cartoony shapes of Mr. Incredible and Syndrome. Looking at the hero first, Mr. Incredible matches up to his onscreen portrayal almost perfectly, with the exception of his much-larger feet due to the nature of being a toy. No details are lost here, with his hair, mask, collar, belt, and logo all present with mostly-neat paint apps. My biggest qualm about this figure’s looks is that he looks very, very toy-like. All of the red is unpainted plastic, as is his face, which washes out pretty much all detail. It doesn’t ruin the toy or anything, but it makes him look cheap and calls into question the premium pricetag. If at least the red was painted, he’d look a whole lot nicer.

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Syndrome is equally excellent in the sculpting area, matching up fairly well to his character design. Unfortunately, his iconic costume design really suffers from the mid-torso joint, and the “S” never lines up quite right. It’s a bummer, but it’s kind of unavoidable without impractical levels of engineering. Buddy’s face is sculpted into an insane grin, the kind of characterful expression that I wish Mr. Incredible had gotten. Syndrome also suffers from a very toy-ish look, particularly in his face, but the nature of his suit makes it a bit less noticeable.

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Articulation

Both figures have practically the same articulation: universal shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees, double-ball-jointed torso, swivel wrists, and some kind of neck joint. I thought Mr. Incredible’s neck was a ball joint, but it appears to be an incredibly stiff swivel joint… so stiff that it often twists back on its own, which makes me question whether or not there’s actually a joint there.

IMG_0199Syndrome one-ups his former idol by having a proper neck swivel for looking left and right, but I really wish these could have been ball joints. Syndrome’s wrists also have a bit more movement on their ball joints than Mr. Incredible, mostly due to his hand-swapping gimmick. It’s not bad articulation, but it’s very bare-bones. Ankle joints in particular would have been perfect for these figures, especially Mr. Incredible, as he can’t stand whatsoever. At least Syndrome has his cape to act as a stabilizing part, inherent dangers of such clothing aside.

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Accessories

As Mr. Incredible carries no weaponry and his only powers are physical, there’s really nothing you can include with his toy to represent his powers, and any alternate hands would be unnecessary. To fill out the figure’s pricepoint, Thinkway threw in an Omnidroid claw… kind of. It’s not terribly accurate to the robot appendage in terms of sculpt and is certainly too small, but I guess it’s fairly topical, as the Incredibles (particularly Mr.) did make use of it in the final battle. The four claws are on incredibly weak ball joints that like to fall off all the time. The play feature involves clipping the claw onto Mr. Incredible’s arm, and… I kind of hate it. I understand the need to give the toy an accessory to justify the $20 pricepoint, but this is really kind of awful.

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Mr. Incredible also comes with a small stand that mostly works. It clips around his torso and really just serves to keep him standing, since he very much can’t on his own without careful balancing. The plastic feels rather flimsy, but it does do its job, but it won’t support too many action poses.

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When it comes to accessories, Syndrome comes out way ahead of his nemesis with alternate hands and feet to represent his invented powers. Aside from his normal fists, he comes with two pointed-finger hands on which you can attach the effects parts for his electro-static-paralysis-beam-thing. The effects could be a little more electric-looking, but I think they look cool enough. The boots have different connections for each leg so you don’t mix them up, but my Syndrome came with two left normal feet. The plastic is soft enough so that I was able to jam the leg’s round peg into the boot’s rectangular socket, but it looks a little funny if you stare at his legs a bit. Syndrome also comes with a stand that’s a bit taller than Mr. Incredible’s, acting as a flight stand. It does its job a lot better, and is very necessary given Syndrome’s tendency to fly around and stuff.

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Overall

Right off the bat, I have to say one thing about these guys: they are incredibly light, particularly Mr. Incredible. The plastic doesn’t feel terribly cheap, but it is a bit thin and they are clearly hollow. Because of this, these do not feel like premium $20 collector’s toys, and if you pay full price, you’ll probably be disappointed. Syndrome definitely holds the better value of the two, with his somewhat more striking look, excellent effects parts, and functional stand. Mr. Incredible is a decent toy, but his sole accessory is more or less a piece of crap and he looks rather cheap. In the end, I’d probably recommend Syndrome over Mr. Incredible, and even then try to find them on sale like I did. $11 for these is a much easier price to swallow compared to retail. If you’re a big Incredibles fan, these are some of the best toys of the characters (particularly Syndrome), just be aware that these are not NECA or even Hasbro-tier collector toys.

Where to Buy

The line is Toys R Us exclusive as far as I can tell, which is a negative in and of itself and probably means we won’t get the rest of the cast. I was only able to find Mr. Incredible on the store’s website, so you may have to go store hunting for Syndrome.

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